Mega European

StudentUniverse  »  Mega European

Mega European

from £3,860
Duration: 49 days
Countries: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Holy See (Vatican City), Hungary, Italy, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey
Introducing the heavyweight champion of Europe tours. Uncover this magnificent continent in all its glory as you spend seven fabulous weeks soaking up all its culture, cuisine and history.
Summary

Mega European

Please note - owing to recent events, this tour will no longer be routed through Istanbul or Gallipoli.

Experience the grand old capitals and iconic landmarks of Western Europe, the artistic allure and passion of the Mediterranean, the vibrancy and beauty of the re-emerging Balkans, right to the very frontier of Asia itself. This is the Europe experience of a lifetime you’ll never want to end!

N.B. Price includes food fund of £780

Itinerary

Day 1: London to Paris, France

Travel Day: London, UK, to Paris, France.

All good things start with Paris. Meet the crew, grab some supplies and hit the road early in the morning as we jump across the English Channel to Paris via the white cliffs of Dover.

Pinch yourself and instagram your first selfie over dinner before we kick off the trip with a guided night tour of the City of Lights with your Trip Leader (aka living guide book). Home to Coco Chanel, the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa, Paris has more than deserved its reputation as the European capital for all things culture, fashion and food. And you're about to find out why.

Included today:
-City lights tour of Paris

Meals: Dinner.

Did you know:
-When the mummy of Ramesses II was flown to Paris in 1974, he had to be issued with a passport stating his occupation as “King (deceased)”.
-The Statue of Liberty was a gift to the US from France. She's totally French.
-The Paris municipal government has banned Tom Cruise from ever becoming an honorary citizen of the city. #staystrong.

Day 2: Paris

This morning: free time en Francais. From the Louvre and Musée d'Orsay to the l'Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysées, you'll be sure to make a solid dent in your bucket list. Then: hop on an optional bike tour of Paris or roam the streets on your own before our gourmet picnic at the Eiffel Tower. End your day with an optional Seine River cruise or a #throwback bohemian cabaret show.

Included today:
-Free day
-Gourmet picnic by the Eiffel Tower

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Optional activities:
-Paris bike tour
-Seine River cruise
-Traditional cabaret show in the Latin Quarter

Day 3: Paris to Swiss Alps, Switzerland

Travel Day: Paris to Swiss Alps, Switzerland.

Trade in Parisian streets for snowy peaks. Home to the highest point in Europe, 72 waterfalls and one of the largest nature conservations in Switzerland, Lauterbrunnen is obviously where we're spending the night. Urban charm ain't got nothing on Swiss scenery. Upon arrival, chow down on Swiss cuisine and hit the bar for a nightcap.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Did you know:
-The Dalai Lama owns the smallest vineyard in the world, consisting of three vines, spanning a mere 1.67 square metres. It's in Switzerland too.
-Here in the Swiss Alps you can lease a cow and score all the cheese produced from its milk. Best. Idea. Ever.
-It's illegal to own just one guinea pig in Switzerland. You must have at least two because they like having a buddy (and the Swiss government is sweeter than chocolate).

Day 4: Swiss Alps

Scenic hikes and jaw-dropping views are on today's agenda. Go low key with a mountain walk or hop on board the Jungfraubahn railway for an optional visit to the Jungfrau Mountain summit.

Fairytale villages en route, sky-diving out of a helicopter upon arrival (if heights don't scare you). Another local feast awaits your return, regardless of how you make your way back down.

Included today:
-Free day

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Optional activities:
-Visit the highest station on the European continent on top of Jungfrau Mountain via the Jungfraubahn railway. Also known as 'the roof of Europe' and the spot that guarantees snow, year round.
-Helicopter ride.
-Skydiving.

Day 5: Swiss Alps to Avignon, France

Travel Day: Swiss Alps to Avignon, France.

This afternoon welcomes you to Avignon, the former home of exiled popes (read: MTV worthy cribs like the Palais des Papes). Tonight: hit up a local bistro or gather for a makeshift picnic. Either way, be sure to pair your meal with some local Rhône Valley wine, one of France's finest reds.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

Did you know:
-The government hands out medals to French parents who effectively raise their children with dignity. Yes, there is such thing as mum/dad of the year.
-There are three towns in Southern France where dying is not allowed. Like completely illegal.

Day 6: Avignon to Barcelona, Spain

Travel Day: Avignon, France to Barcelona, Spain (via Pont du Gard).

First up, we check out the 2000-year-old Roman engineered aqueduct Pont du Gard on our way to Barcelona. Get hungry on a guided driving tour, ticking off the Columbus Monument, Montjuic (site of the 1992 Olympics) and Gaudi's yet to be finished Sagrada Familia.

Round off the day with churros and tapas, and feed your cravings for Catalonian zest at tonight's included dinner. Later: let loose at an optional flamenco show.

Included today:
-Visit Pont du Gard
-Driving tour of Barcelona

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Optional activities:
-Flamenco Show

Did you know:
-The name Spain is derived from the word Ispania, which means the land of rabbits.
-Chupa Chups were invented by Catalonian Enric Bernat in 1958.
-There is no tooth fairy in Spain? Instead there's a tooth mouse called Ratoncito Perez, originating in Madrid in 1894.

Day 7: Barcelona

Who needs the snooze button when you got a whole day in a city packed to the rafters with art nouveau, alluring accents and most importantly, tapas. Hit the side streets and alleyways of Las Ramblas, take in the eccentric work of artist Antoni Gaudi at Parc Guell or give in to your inner football tragic and kneel to the sporting gods at Camp Nou.

Included today:
-Free day

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 8: Barcelona to French Riviera, France

Travel Day: Barcelona, Spain to French Riviera, France.

Get that selfie stick out as we roll on north along the coast to rub shoulders with the rich and famous at the world’s most lavish waterfront property, aka the French Riviera. Swap your patatas bravas for hearty French cooking and get ready for tomorrow’s adventures.

Included today:
-Grasse perfume factory visit

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.


Did you know:
-The Monte Carlo casino was originally called a health spa to avoid criticism from the church. Now that’s a world class euphemism.
-The citizens of Monaco are not allowed to gamble, let alone step inside the famous Monte Carlo casino.
-According to artifacts discovered in Nice, its earliest tourists were travelling cave-dwellers that passed through hunting woolly mammoths almost 400,000 years ago.

Day 9: French Riviera

Bring your paparazzi posse to the beach or let loose among the designer boutiques in Nice's Old Town. This afternoon, we'll hit up Eze for a first-hand look into the world of French scent making on a guided tour of a 16th century factory.

Later: Roll with the jet set as we hit up the Monaco for a guided tour and the chance to see how the 1% live (hint: it involves lots of fur and bathing in caviar). Feeling lucky? Hit the tables at the Monte Carlo Casino and make it rain (or not).

Included today:
-Guided tour of Monaco

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional activities:
-Monte Carlo Casino

Day 10: French Riviera to Venice, Italy

Travel Day: French Riviera to Venice, Italy.

Thou literary fancies shalt be tickled in yonder Verona, home to thou fairest maiden Juliet and the accursed house of Capulet. Check out Juliet’s balcony then head to the local Roman Amphitheatre turned killer concert venue. Verona Arena has played host to a number of international acts including U2, One Direction (sorry) and Sting. Feast Italian style with another dinner prepared by our resident chef tonight.

Included today:
-Verona visit and guided tour

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-Venice is sinking at the rate of 1-2 millimeters a year, 5 times faster than originally estimated. All the more reason to cross it off your bucket list.
-The average Italian slurps through 25 kilos of pasta a year.

Day 11: Venice

You know it as the floating city, but this place is actually sinking (slowly). Check out St. Mark's Square, Accademia Bridge and a who's who of Venice's usual suspects on a guided walking tour then jump on a vaporetto and explore the Grand Canal.

Also on the schedule: a lesson in traditional lace-making and an optional gondola ride through the maze of marble bridges and gelato shops we call Venice. Throw away your map in the afternoon and try to find the world's most epic little bookshop, Libreria Acqua Alta, or just go on a mission to find the perfect gelato.

Included today:
-Walking Tour
-Lace School Demonstration
-Vaporetto ride on the Grand Canal

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Optional activities:
-Gondola ride on the Grand Canal

Day 12: Venice to Florence

Travel Day: Venice, Italy to Florence, Italy (via Pisa).

Take THAT shot at the Leaning Tower of Pisa today before trucking on to the Tuscan hills outside Florence to eat, sleep, repeat in the foodie capital of the world.

Included today:
-Pisa visit en-route

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Did you know:
-Gondoliers (of which there are only 400 operating in Venice) go through rigorous training and a tough final exam - about 3-4 licences are distributed annually.
-The Leaning Tower of Pisa was used as a Nazi observation post during WWII, but was spared from Allied artillery fire due to its beauty. Maybe she's born with it.

Day 13: Florence

Florence has more stories than Bilbo Baggins, more culture than a Shoreditch hipster, over 1,800 restaurants and it gave the world gelato. Get schooled on the Medici family, stroll the Ponte Vecchio (the only bridge not bombed in WWII) and get an in-depth tour of the city with a local guide.

Then: learn about the art of leather craft from the city that brought you Gucci (new handbag, anyone?) and use the afternoon to meet a guy named David doing his best Blue Steel in the Accademia Gallery. You could do worse than hunting down a Florentine steak for dinner tonight.

Included today:
-In-depth city tour with a local guide
-Leather works demonstration

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 14: Florence to Rome

Travel Day: Florence to Rome (via Orvieto).

Southward and downward with a pit stop at the hilltop town of Orvieto to see the grand cathedral and dig into a wild boar panini. Then step back to 753 BC in one of the world's oldest open-air museums on an in-depth walking tour and give that bucket list a workout.

Make like Caesar (the emperor, not the salad) and work up a colossus hunger as you pass by the Pantheon, throw your two cents in the Trevi Fountain, sit on the Spanish Steps and visit ancient history's version of the Hunger Games set at the Colosseum. Tonight, you're in Disneyland for foodies. Have fun.

Included today:
-Visit to Orvieto en route
-Guided tour of Rome

Meals: Breakfast.

Did you know:
-Wishful thinkers throw about €3,000 into the Trevi Fountain every day so it's illegal to remove coins from it. Not that it stopped the notorious Mr. d'Artagnan. He stole from the fountain for 34 years before he was caught in 2002.
-Real Italians never drink cappuccinos after 10am.
-In Italian, 'fiasco' is a bottle. In English, it's a big fail. We don't get it either.

Day 15: Rome

Create the ultimate Roman Holiday in one day with a whirlwind of Vespas, espresso, two-cheek kisses and pizza the way it’s supposed to taste. Count your blessings on an optional tour of the Vatican City to see how Michelangelo messed around and created the High Renaissance, then play eye spy with two-and-a-half millennia's worth of history.

Shop til you drop on Via Condotti, head to Capitoline Hill for sick views of the Roman Forum and Colosseum or just kick back in Piazza Navona for some dolce far niente (delicious idleness). Your Topdeck chef will feed you tonight.

Included today:
-Free day

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional activities:
-Vatican City tour

Day 16: Overnight Ferry to Igoumenitsa, Greece

Travel Day: Rome to Greece (overnight ferry).

Play connect-the-dots with the stars or let the swell rock you to sleep as we ferry from Bella Italia to Greece. Restaurants, bars, and cosy cabin rooms will keep you comfortable.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

Day 17: Sailing in Greece (Mourtos)

A short drive along the Greek coastline, then onto our flotilla of yachts for three days of sun, sand and sailing on the Ionian Sea. By night, flaunt those european tan lines as we drop anchor and hop between authentic Greek tavernas for a night of feasting, table dancing and a splash of ouzo. You know the saying, too much of a good thing? Neither do we.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Did you know:
-In Ancient Greece, the only men considered to be great leaders were those with potbellies.
-Some of the entrants at the first modern Olympic games in 1896 were tourists who happened to be in Athens at the time. Talk about right place right time.
-Greek mythology says the goddess Atalanta versed all her suitors and won every race, lest she have to marry them. #womendoitbetter

Day 18: Sailing in Greece (Corfu)

A free day to sail, swim, eat, sleep, repeat.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

Included today: Yacht life

Day 19: Sailing in Greece (Plataria)

More turquoise water. More swimming. More diving off boats. More epic Instagram shots. You could probably get used to this.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Included today: Yacht life

Day 20: Plataria to Athens

Travel Day: Plataria to Athens, Greece.

Back on land, stretch your legs and explore the cradle of civilization on a guided tour. Cue jaw drop at the Acropolis and Parthenon then grab some yiros or hit the sack.

Included today:
-Guided tour of Athens

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-Ladies of the night in Ancient Greece used to inscribe “follow me” on the soles of their shoes in the hopes of wooing potential customers. Now that's advertising to your market.
-Democracy, the Olympics, philosophical thinking, architecture, geometry and the screw are just a few things you can thank Greece for.
-Greeks wave with their palms closed because it's considered an insult to show the palm of the hand with the fingers extended. You've been warned!

Day 21: Athens to Mykonos

Travel Day: Athens to Mykonos.

Ferry over to Mykonos (aka 'that-island-with-the-cute-windmills-looking-into-a-blood-red- sunset' for two nights of tropical bliss. Epic beaches, sinfully good local restaurants and a bustling nightlife, what's not to love? #sorrynotsorry

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 22: Mykonos

If home is where the heart is, it comes with a blue rooftop. Prepare for more yiros, epic nightlife and a handful of very famous pelicans as we hit the party hub of the Mediterranean.

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 23: Mykonos to Athens

Travel Day: Mykonos to Athens.

Make your way back to Athens with a heavy heart (or a hearty headache) for a much needed early night. You'll get your bearings on a guided driving tour before checking in. Pro tip: dine under the Acropolis before turning in.

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 24: Athens to Meteora

Travel Day: Athens to Meteora.

Leave your fear of heights in Athens. We're driving to Meteora, a city perched on the nail biting cliffs of Thessaly (Google it). Visit one of six remaining 14th century monasteries (out of 24) then round up the day with good friends, good food and some face-timing.

Note for today: Be mindful of local customs and cover up as we will be entering a religious site today.

Included today:
Monastery visit.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner.

Did you know:
-Game of Thrones' Eyrie of the Vale of the House of Arryn is based on Meteora's sandstone hillside landscape, where buildings blend into steep rock pinnacles.

Day 25: Meteora to Kavala

Travel Day: Meteora to Kavalla, Greece.

Onwards to Kavalla, a bustling seaport settlement that's been around for 2500 years. Hit the beach or lay low at a taverna for a chilled out coastal vibe.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Did you know:
-Throwing an apple at someone in Ancient Greece was basically a proposal of marriage.
-Charlton Heston's name is referenced as Charlton Easton in Greece, as Heston has excremental associations in Greek. Unfortunate.

Day 26: Kavala to Gallipoli, Turkey

Travel Day: Kavalla to Gallipoli, Turkey.

Today we take on a more sombre tone and head east into Turkey, to the sacred site of Gallipoli. It was here on 25th April 1915 that troops from the nations of Australia and New Zealand landed as part of an offensive against the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

It was the first major military action undertaken by both nations, thousands would lose their lives in the battle, but the tragic losses served to cement a sense of national identity in both countries. People proudly remember the fallen here on 25th April (ANZAC day) with a dawn service, but Gallipoli remains a site of pilgrimage all year round.

Included today:
-Guided tour of Gallipoli Memorial with a local guide
-Dinner in a local restaurant

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

*Traveling on the 30th March departure? You’ll be in Gallipoli for the annual ANZAC dawn services — lucky you! Sleep in the open with the thousands of others waiting for the dawn service. Be sure to bring a sleeping bag and warm clothes. Dinner tonight is not included.

Did you know:
-Mustafa Kemal is the only Turkish commander from WWI to be honoured on Australian soil in the Kemal Atatürk memorial in Anzac Parade, Canberra, recognising the self-sacrifice and bravery of Australian and Turkish soldiers.
-ANZAC biscuits were not originally sent over with the Anzacs to snack on, they were made and sold in fundraising events for the war.

Day 27: Gallipoli to Istanbul

Travel Day: Gallipoli to Istanbul.

Like a well cooked ramen burger, Istanbul is the perfect mix of East and West, straddling two continents on the Bosphorous Strait. You've got three nights to suss out its rich history, local haunts and most importantly, gorge yourself on Turkish delights. Be sure to check out Hagia Sofia before tonight's local dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 28: Istanbul

Get your bearings with a local guide and check out the Topkapi Palace, St Sophia, Hippodrome, and famous Blue Mosque in the #throwback neighbourhood of Sultanahmet. Tonight: shake what your mamma gave ya at a Turkish belly dancing nightclub. Don't be shy, your Topdeck driver will show you how it's done.

Included today:
-Tour of Istanbul with a local guide
-Free day

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional activities:
-Istanbul by Night

Did you know:
-Istanbul only recently crowned tea their drink of choice because Turkish coffee got too expensive. They grow their tea leaves in the Black Sea region, so it's totes local (FYI to the artisanal-appreciating hipsters among you).
-Belly dancing may have arisen as a fertility dance. In fact, ancient civilisations in Greece, New Guinea and Africa believed women remained infertile until they performed the ritual.

Day 29: Istanbul

Tour the capital's eastern inspired mosques, kick back in a turkish bath or simply gorge yourself on kebab, hummus and dolma. We won't judge. Then: hone your haggling skills at the Grand Bazaar. There's always room for another souvenir.

Included today:
-Free day

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 30: Istanbul to Sofia, Bulgaria

Travel Day: Istanbul, Turkey to Sofia, Bulgaria.

Bed, Breakfast, Bus, Bulgaria. Founded seven thousand years ago, the second oldest capital in Europe, Sofia, continues to expand as the country’s cultural and economic hub.

Get amongst it on a guided tour of the city's most renowned religious sites, including St Alexander Nevsky’s Cathedral, St George’s 4th century Church, and St Sophia's Church. We’ve cleared your schedule this afternoon (you’re welcome).

Included today:
-Guided tour with a local guide

Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

Did you know:
-Don’t let a local shaking their head turn you away. That’s how Bulgarians express approval. #noddingissowesterneurope
-Bulgarians get two birthdays. Well, kind of. Locals also celebrate ‘name days’. And get this, it’s a bigger party.

Day 31: Sofia to Belgrade, Serbia

Travel Day: Sofia, Bulgaria to Belgrade, Serbia.

More of Eastern Europe's unique mix of glasnost and capitalism as we dig into Belgrade, capital of modern-day Serbia as well as the former Yugoslavia. A product of the former nations of Yugoslavia, Serbia's religious and political past has cultivated a diverse cultural landscape throughout the city.

Take a tour along the banks of the mighty Danube and into Belgrade's Old Town district to investigate the local hot spots down Prince Michael Street, the main pedestrian walk about town. Thank your patient hunger with a local stew and sip some traditional plum brandy. You'll fit right in.

Included today:
-Guided tour of Belgrade

Meals: Breakfast.

Did you know:
-Vampire is the only Serbian word that is used and accepted worldwide. At least they got a good one.
-The Serbs were the actual pioneers of the clock-making industry, making and designing their own clocks 600 years before the Swiss did.

Day 32: Belgrade to Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Travel Day: Belgrade, Serbia to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Next: beat the crowds in up-and-coming Sarajevo. Recovering from a dark past (think Archduke Franz Ferdinand circa 1914), torn apart by war, the beautiful city is still heroically rebuilding itself and is widely underrated.

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-Upon hearing the Bosnian War was over, U2 cancelled their concert in Switzerland, forgoing $4 million in earnings to fork out $1 million of their own to put on a concert for war-torn Sarajevo, celebrating the end of the war.
-Births and weddings are often celebrated with celebratory gunfire.

Day 33: Sarajevo to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Travel Day: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina to Dubrovnik, Croatia (via Mostar).

We make the most of Mostar before lots more stunning gets pushed past the window as we head for the most famous walled city in Europe (nope, not history. See: Game of Thrones). Wander Dubrovnik's tiny cobblestoned streets and explore hidden cafés and shops before grabbing some dinner and checking out the glitzy nightlife.

Included today:
-Mostar visit

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 34: Dubrovnik

Free day in King's Lan… sorry, Dubrovnik. Check out the residential homes further up in the old town for awesome views and a local perspective. Then: a cold beer on the wall as the sun sets over the Adriatic. This is the good life.

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 35: Dubrovnik to Plitvice Lakes

Travel Day: Dubrovnik, Croatia to Plitvice Lakes, Croatia (via Zadar).

Listen to the ocean play an instrument in Zadar. The Sea Organ is a quirky art installation that sits amongst the city's eclectic mix of Roman ruins and public art. More cool facts await you on a guided city tour with your Topdeck TL. Next up: bliss and waterfalls at the Plitvice Lakes National Park to catch some z's.

Included today:
-Guided tour of Zadar

Meals: Breakfast.

Did you know:
-Zadar has the most beautiful sunsets in the world. Well, according to Alfred Hitchcock at least.
-Zadar's local sea organ sings the songs of the sea by taking in water through pipes underneath and pushing out air through a series of slots in the marble staircase frontage. Vrlo opuštanje (or, very relaxing).

Day 36: Plitvice Lakes

Today is brought to you by Mother Nature. Made up of 16 lakes connected by streams and waterfalls and surrounded by 300 square kilometres of national park, Plitvice Lakes didn't make it onto the UNESCO World Heritage list without reason. Hike up to see the tallest waterfall in Croatia or glide across the crystal blue lakes in a rowboat. Mindfulness just got a whole new meaning.

Included today:
-Free day

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Optional activities:
-Plitvice National Park

Did you know:
-Plitvice Lakes is mostly made of chalk, created after years of sedimentation, and has a blue-green colour due to the limestone of the surrounding rocks.

Day 37: Plitvice Lakes to Budapest, Hungary

Travel Day: Plitvice Lakes, Croatia to Budapest, Hungary.

Your house in Budapest awaits. Meet your Trip Leader and set off on a driving tour to get down and Danube (that be the river) with twin cities, Buda and Pest. Check out Hero's Square, Parliament House, the National Palace, Fisherman's Bastion and swanky Andrássy Ave. Then it's time to meet the major food groups: goulash, cabbage rolls and dumplings, oh my!

Included today:
-Budapest driving tour
-Dinner at a local restaurant

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 38: Budapest

Free day = Put down your Rubik's Cube and take on a city with enough baroque, neoclassical and art nouveau architecture to keep you puzzled for hours. Take to the waters at the art nouveau Gellert Baths and don't leave til you're pruny.

There are 80+ thermal springs in Budapest but this is its most famous. Wave pool, anyone?! Indulge in a spa treatment then visit the Buda Castle or House of Terror Museum. Tonight, hang with the hipsters and drink local fruit brandy at Szimpla Kertmozi - the original ruin bar.

Included today:
-Free day

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 39: Budapest to Vienna, Austria

Travel Day: Budapest, Hungary to Vienna, Austria (via Bratislava).

So long Budapest, we're off to Austria via Bratislava. Only independent since 1993, the Slovakian capital offers equal parts 18th century charm, socialist era architecture and modern art.

Next up: Pick your Baroque from Rococo as we slide into The City of Dreams (kudos, Freud). The Vienna Orchestra provides the soundtrack while we check out Europe's classiest capital on a driving tour. Wave hello to the President as we go past the Hofburg Palace. And because one palace isn't enough, we also take peek at the Schönbrunn. Top off your day with a schnitzel and apple strudel at Cafe Central, the regular hangout of Freud, Trotsky and Lenin.

Included today:
-Bratislava walking tour
-Vienna driving tour

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-Josip Broz Tito, Freud, Hitler, Vladimir Lenin, and Trotsky were all patrons of the same Viennese cafe (Café Central) in January 1913. #somethinginthecoffee?
-Vienna has a cat cafe, so if you want some real-life LOL cats in your life, grab a coffee and cake at Cafe Neko while stroking the oh-so-cute felines (and making the most of the free WiFi).
-When asked why they were taking Finnish as a language, 97% of students at the University of Vienna answered so that they could understand heavy metal music.

Day 40: Vienna

Vienna is yours for the day. Walk the grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace, see the Spanish Riding School train (if it’s in town) or feed your brain exploring the Museum Quarter. Primp your pinkie for an optional Schnapps Museum visit to taste the local aperitif. Classical music fans, opt in for a night out to hear the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and Strauss at the Viennese Chamber Orchestra. #adulting

Included today:
-Free day

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional activities:
-Alt-Wiener Schnapps Museum Excursion
-Viennese Chamber Orchestra
-Orchestra with dinner

Day 41: Vienna to Krakow, Poland

Travel Day: Vienna, Austria to Krakow, Poland.

Pay your respects and learn more about the Holocaust at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Sombre, yes, but an important introduction to the region's history. Next: crack on to Krakow.

Legend has it a dragon had to be smited in order for Krakow to be built (with a sulphur-stuffed lamb as bait). Bit tougher than the usual council approvals, no? Miraculously untouched by the effects of war, this city boasts some serious Middle Ages swag and another quaint Old Town neighbourhood. Tonight: check in, scarf down and snooze.

Included today:
-Auschwitz-Birkenau visit

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 42: Krakow

Get all up in the streets of Krakow today on a walking tour. Then let the statement, “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire” really sink in at Oskar Schindler's factory (optional). Go 327 metres underground to see hundreds of shades of rock salt in the Wieliczka Salt Mine, visit a centuries-old synagogue and discover the city's inner-hipster in the Jewish district and shop for Amber in the UNESCO-listed Cloth Hall. Your day, your choice.

Included today:
-Krakow orientation tour

Meals: Breakfast.

Did you know:
-Attention foodies, sweet local cuisine ahead. The candy section is always the biggest section of any Polish grocery store.
-Krakus, a legendary Polish prince defeated the Wawel Dragon by feeding him a dead sheep filled with sulfur. Krakow was then established in his name and honour.

Day 43: Krakow to Prague, Czech Republic

Travel Day: Krakow to Prague, Czech Republic.

Keep your Frozen fantasies rolling as the medieval beauty reigns on in Prague. Fuel up on trdelník (pastry deliciousness) before a walking tour amongst spires and cobblestone streets. Suss out the castle deemed worthy by Guinness World Records as being the largest ancient castle in the world, cross medieval Charles Bridge and watch 'Death' toll the hour on an astronomical clock that's over 600 years old.

Included today:
-Prague walking tour

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Did you know:
-There's a bar in Prague where your beer is delivered on a miniature train. #efficiency
-The act of throwing someone out of a window is known as defenestration. It caused a thirty year war to break out after two Catholic officials were thrown out of a window in Prague Castle in 1618.
-In black light theatres scattered throughout the city performers put on shows in pitch black spaces with fluoro clothing and props. Daft Punk, eat your heart out.

Day 44: Prague

Another free day for the win. Channel your inner bohemian and seek out the John Lennon memorial wall, then soak up some more Czech history at the National or Communist Museum or get a taste of the quirky local culture at a marionette puppet opera (you gotta see it to believe it).

Snap a selfie at Prague's own Eiffel Tower, visit a miniatures museum, eat roast pork from one of the street vendors lining Old Town Square and drink beer. Good beer.

Included today:
-Free day

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 45: Prague to Berlin, Germany

Travel Day: Prague to Berlin, Germany.

Get acquainted with 800 year-old Dresden – a city virtually destroyed in WWII and then rebuilt – and ogle the Frauenkirche before making your beard all the more ironic in Berlin. Prep yourself for currywurst, absinthe and more hipsters per capita than anywhere else. We’ll drive you around to see (what’s left of) the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building before making your food baby sing with a hearty German meal.

Included today:
-Dresden walking tour
-Berlin driving tour.

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Did you know:
-The Doner Kebab was invented in 1972 by the Turkish immigrant, Kadir Nurman, in West Berlin, obviously knowing it would make an ideal midnight snack.
-Berlin is said to have more museums than rainy days, boasting an impressive 175 to choose from.

Day 46: Berlin

Shake off last night with a wander around the German capital. Optional: Third Reich walking tour and local insight into what the city was like under Nazi rule during World War II. Hackescher Markt is a hit for lunch. Afternoon suggestion? Have a picnic at the historic Tempelhof airport turned public park #picniconthetarmac. Tonight: hit the hot spots on an optional nightlife tour.

Meals: Breakfast.

Optional Activities:
-Third Reich walking tour
-Berlin nightlife tour

Day 47: Berlin to Amsterdam, Netherlands

Travel Day: Berlin to Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Cheese lovers, rejoice. Your next stop is a local Dutch farm to see how cheddar (and clogs) gets made. Next: Amsterdam, mayo-dipped fries and red lights. Get your bearings on a walking tour of the vibrant capital and see the Dam Square, Royal Palace and National Monument. Then: explore all that this notoriously liberal city has to offer.

Included today:
-Dutch cheese and clogs demonstration
-Guided Amsterdam walking tour

Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

Day 48: Amsterdam

Join the 881,000 bicycles and get local on a city bike tour of Amsterdam's iconic canals, bridges and parks. Culture fiends, delve deeper with a visit to Anne Frank House, Van Gogh or Rijksmuseum. Still thirsty for more? Check out the Heineken Experience for an interactive visit and tasting at the brewery. Top it off with a dinner cruise on the canal. #imonaboat

Included today:
-Canal dinner cruise
-Amsterdam bike tour

Meals: Breakfast, dinner.

Day 49: Amsterdam to London

Travel Day: Amsterdam to London.

Gluten intolerant? We're sorry. Really. With chocolate, waffles and beer at top of the national list of pride in Bruges it makes for a damn fine walking tour stop. Stock up on the sweet stuff, climb the 366-step belfry and nip the post-holiday blues in the bud before London calls with a serving of the local specialty - chips by the cone fried in beef and horse fat. Mmm. Then it's back on the ferry to ol' Blighty to start planning your next adventure. Facebook friends?

Included today:
-Bruges walking tour

Meals: Breakfast.

Did you know:
-The 13th-century belfry houses a carillon with 48 bells and employs a full-time carillonneur to clang them around regularly, serving up a free concert with no noise restrictions.
-“Somebody that you used to know” Australian musician Gotye was born in Bruges.
-Just when you thought nothing could top Belgian chocolate, Bruges dishes up a museum paying homage to the humble potato - Frietmuseum. Well, this is the home of the French fry, after all (it's a long story).


Interested in this; ready to enquire?

Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. StudentUniverse should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.

Details

Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £3,860

Phone:

Call 0333 333 9952 to enquire or book

Inclusions

48 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 27 dinners
13 nights hotel upgrade, 21 nights in hostels, 3 nights sailing in Greece, 8 nights in bungalows at European campsites, 2 nights in canvas cabins & 1 night in a cabin on overnight ferry from Italy to Greece
English Channel ferry crossings
Modern air-conditioned coach
Guided tours of all major cities
Trip Leader + Driver + Topdeck On-Site Chefs

Group Size

Average 35, maximum 48

Transports

Modern air-conditioned coach, including power points for charging electronics.
During peak season, some coaches will not have Wi-Fi

Age

This tour is suitable for people aged 18-39

About StudentUniverse

StudentUniverse has been supplying the best flight, hotel and tours deals to students around the world for years now and we’re delighted to be the preferred travel partner of gapyear.com and to make your travel experience even more amazing.

We have a great team of travel gurus that understand what a gap year is all about just waiting to help you, and since we are part of the Flight Centre Travel Group we are able to offer the best flights, gap year packages, hostels, tours, volunteer placements and insurance - the works. This is not your average travel agency, it’s the ultimate backpacker travel agency.

If you’d like to get in touch to chat about your travels, even if you’re in the preliminary stages and you’d just like some advice, give us a call on 0333 333 9923 or submit an enquiry to StudentUniverse – we’d love to hear from you.

View all products from StudentUniverse

Photos

Photo Gallery

Image 3 of 3 images
Email Enquiry

Interested in this; ready to enquire?

Find out more by filling out the form below and clicking send. StudentUniverse should then be in touch shortly to help with your enquiry.

Call Me

Have a gap year travel expert call you back

If you're in the UK and would like one of our travel experts to call you about this trip, pop your details in the form below and we'll give you a call. If you'd prefer to be called at a specific time, let us know that too, and we'll do our very best to call you then.

Please note: We can only support call-back requests during office hours, which are: Monday to Friday: 9am to 6pm  |  Saturday: 10am to 5pm.

Related Experiences